Medford teachers are on the tenth day of their strike. Portland teachers are six days from their potential strike. It is enlightening to set the Wayback Machine for when a main teachers villain from the 1987 Eugene teachers strike, Steve Goldschmidt (yes, Governor Neil Goldschmidt’s brother), got an outrageously sweetheart deal from the Portland Public Schools to antagonize the Portland teachers union. Much like Yvonne Deckard’s $15,000/month no-bid contract deal to do the same now for being friends with Superintendent Carole Smith.
Steve Goldschmidt was the lead negotiator for the Eugene school district during its 22-day strike. When Portland was rumored to be hiring him in 2000, the Eugene teachers howled warnings to the Portland teachers. The Portland Association of Teachers protested Goldschmidt’s hiring, yet the district did it anyway. Diana Snowden, interim Portland Superintendent, wife of past Portland Mayor and past Oregon Governor (and soon-to-be exposed for having sex with his 14 year-old babysitter) Neil Goldschmidt, paved the way.
Hiring a brother-in-law of a highly placed administrator (as PPS did this year hiring Donny Adair as a consultant, bother-in-law to Executive Director of School & Operations Support Harriet Adair), who is also the brother of a former Governor, is cozy, eh? Looking at the arrangement, it gets even more farcical.
New Portland Superintendent Ben Canada is the one who put his pen on the agreement with Steve Goldschmidt. Highlights of this crazy document:
- $132,000/year salary, with a performance bonus of $20,000 per year.
- PERS retirement, early retirement, all other administrator benefits, annual physical.
- Annuity payment of $1,500 per month in program of his choice.
- Can be terminated only for moral turpitude or gross neglect of duty.
- Termination must have six months notice, with a guarantee of full salary & benefits for six months whether the district has him work during that time or not.
- After termination, district will pay him an additional 18 months worth of all financial benefits for doing no work whatsoever.
- Legal protection for all work done on behalf of the school district.
- Can engage in as much outside work as he wants provided it does not present a conflict of interest with District obligations or use proprietary District information.
- Due to his living in Eugene, District will provide him with a leased car for 24 months and a $2,000/month Portland housing allowance for 6 months, and moving costs & closing costs for selling the Eugene home. After 6 months, if the Eugene house does not sell the district will continue the Portland housing allowance.
- His consulting gig preceding this contract will pay $86,500 for four months work.
Sweet deal! That last point leads to an annual salary rate of $259,500. This deal happened in the middle of a wave of golden parachute deals that marked the Ben Canada era (including for Ben Canada himself).
Back in 2001, and now, it literally pays, and pays well, to have friends & family in high places at Portland Public Schools.